Loneliness is like an uninvited guest that sneaks into our lives as it pleases, isn’t it? And sometimes that guest stays around for way too long. I have struggled with seasons of loneliness off and on throughout my life. First, in grade school, when I didn’t quite fit into the mold of the variety of “friend groups” available; then, in my 20’s when my heart was broken; later, during the early stages of my marriage; and more recently, after becoming a new mom.
In our current state of social distancing, loneliness is a worldwide struggle.
However, loneliness is NOT God’s design. It’s actually a very dangerous state to live in. In short, the feeling of loneliness is a lie and a trap.
In the most recent Star Wars movie, the pilot Poe Dameron clearly exposes one of Satan’s most effective plans in his ever-present pursuit of defeating followers of Christ. Poe says this: “The First Order (the enemy) wins by making us think we’re alone. We’re not.”
You see, loneliness is a place of powerlessness and fear. If we accept the lie that we are alone as truth, we will more easily succumb to Satan’s other lies, creating distance and disruption in our relationship with God.
Our community with other believers (i.e. corporate worship/fellowship) also suffers, which in turn causes a halt to the movement of the gospel. When we buy into loneliness, we completely lose sight of who we are in Christ and it drains the world of His light.
So, how do we know loneliness is a lie? Because our God is one of constant fellowship and relationship. From Genesis to Revelation and every book in between there is a constant theme. God is telling us over and over, “I am with you.”
In the beginning, He was with Adam and Eve in the garden.
Even though sin entered our once perfect world, He still didn’t leave His beloved creation. Instead, He took care of them.
“And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden… And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them.” Genesis 3:8, 21
“For it was you who created my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.” Psalm 139:13
He is present during our very own creation, even the very first time we sin! And He says, “I am with you.”
We see more proof in the years spent wandering in the wilderness.
“I will dwell among the people of Israel and will be their God. And they shall know that I am the Lord their God, who brought them out of the land of Egypt that I might dwell among them. I am the Lord their God.” Exodus 29:45-46
“For the Lord your God has blessed you in all the work of your hands. He knows you’re going through this great wilderness. These forty years the Lord your God has been with you. You have lacked nothing. ” Deuteronomy 2:7
“Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6
Just like the Israelites, there are times in our lives when we may stray or feel like God’s presence is far away. But over and over, He is constantly trying to remind us of His great love for us and show us we are not alone. In His majesty and creativity, God finds new ways to tell us, “I am with you.”
Moving to the New Testament, the story continues…
“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14
Fully God and fully man, He dwelt among His people. Additionally, lives were forever changed after encountering Jesus Christ in the flesh. He was tempted as we are yet was without sin. He spoke words of love and grace-filled truth to those who mocked and scorned him. He loved the outcasts, He healed the sick, He exalted the lowly, and He defended the church. Most importantly, He chose the cross for all mankind because He loves us. Finally, He rolled the stone away to reveal an empty tomb because He conquered death!
When it was His appointed time to ascend to His throne to reign in Heaven, He still didn’t leave us alone! Instead, Jesus left us with the most precious gift, a piece of Himself, to continue to walk with us every moment of our remaining time on earth—the Holy Spirit. By doing this, God is saying once again, “I am with you.”
God’s plan is for us to never be alone!
The Bible is the story of His constant pursuit to have fellowship with us. He calls us while we are still lost in our sin, He fights our battles and becomes our Living Hope when we accept Him as Lord, and He promises life ever-lasting in His Presence!
“And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them and the will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” Revelation 21:3-4
So, the next time you are feeling loneliness knocking on your door, my hope is that you remember what the Bible says over and over.
Spend a few quiet moments with the Lord presenting your loneliness at His feet. Finally, ask Him to take that space and fill you with His presence. And in this quiet space, you may even feel His reassuring gentle voice remind you of this promise: “I am with you.”
For more reminders of God’s constant presence in our lives, see: Exodus 40:38, Leviticus 9:23, Psalm 139, Zephaniah 3:15-17, Hebrews 13:5-6